Crunch variation exercises help you focus on your core muscles. You’ll be able to work on each muscle that makes up the abdominal region and obliques.
While there are several core exercises that can improve core strength and bring about proper development, crunches are one of the most common exercises in any core workout routine.
Crunch Variation Exercises for Strength
Here are six crunch variation exercises women can include in your workout routine. You do not have to use all of them at the same time, but you can do various combinations of these exercises on the days you work on your core muscles. Let's get started:
1) Standard Crunches
Standard crunches are basic crunches.
To do this exercise, lie on a mat; bend your legs from your knees, and keep them slightly away from your glutes. Put your hand behind your head, and pull yourself upwards using your core muscles.
It’s important to use the muscles to pull yourself up and not your body or hand’s momentum. Do not let your feet off the ground. If required, ask someone to hold your knees together and push them to keep your feet grounded, or use a blocker for the same.
When you move back down, it should be a controlled movement. The more control you have over your muscles, the better it is for strength and development.
2) Scissor Crunches
To do scissor crunches, lie on a mat, and keep your legs extended. Raise your upper body from your hips, and use your core muscles to keep it stable.
To do a scissor crunch, lift your legs, and move them in a criss-cross scissor motion. Keep your core muscles engaged and your hands behind your neck or on the sides. However, do not push your head forward to keep your upper body stable.
3) Oblique Crunches
Oblique crunches help boost the muscles surrounding the sides of the core muscles.
To do an oblique crunch, place one hand behind your neck and the other on your side. Next, use your oblique muscles to pull yourself up, but twist towards the side where your arm is beside you.
You should only use your oblique muscles and not push yourself up by pushing your head.
4) Yoga Ball Crunches
Yoga ball crunches are similar to standard crunches, but your back lies on a yoga ball.
This is one of the crunch variation exercises where you have a bigger range of motion for your core muscles. That's because the medicine ball allows you to bend backwards, forcing the core muscles to work against more resistance.
5) Cable Crunches
Cables crunches are another crunch variation that are often recommended. To do a cable crunch, attach the ropes to the anchor, and adjust them at the top.
You can either go on your knees or stand. To o the exercise, bend forward with the ropes behind your neck, and use your core muscles to pull you downwards.
Control the negative when you’re moving back up.
6) Bicycle Crunches
Bicycle crunches are an advanced crunch variation exercise. To do this workout, use your core muscles to pull yourself upwards, and take your right elbow to your left knee.
At the same time, your left knee should come closer to your torso while your right leg remains extended. Keeping your upper body stable with your engaged core muscles, twist from your hips to match the alternate elbows and knees.